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WPA Bruins Tip Off Returning with More than 400 Teams from All Over the U.S.

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Every year, talented women’s basketball players from all over the country flock to Pittsburgh for the WPA Bruins Tip Off.

This year, the Tip Off is back once again — and it’s coming soon.

This year’s Western PA Bruins Tip Off event will take place from April 12-14 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The tournament will kick off with a three-game session on Friday evening, followed by a jam-packed slate on the weekend. On Saturday, games will be running on 40 courts in the convention center, throughout the entire day, while Sunday will feature many more games on all of the courts as well.

The tournament has grown exponentially each year, making a strong economic impact on the city and showcasing talented hoopers as well. Just five year ago, the tournament first cracked the 200-team mark. However, there were more than 10 locations for the tournament’s games. Now, with all of the games under one roof, the tournament has been able to expand even more.

“Now with just one location, it just gives the event a different kind of feel,” said John Tate, the WPA Bruins Executive Director. “It’s become a national event since we got to the convention center. Now that we’re all under one roof, it’s really become a national event.”

“We get so many of the top teams nationally, whether it be Nike or Under Armour Teams, EYBL teams, Adidas teams, and then they have the chance to play each other,” he said. “Once you get past April, they’ve got to play shoe circuit schedule, which limits the opportunity to play other shoe circuits’ teams. In our event, you’ll see some of the best Nike teams playing the best Under Armour teams and Adidas teams and the best independent teams. You don’t see that too much at other events.”

Tate has seen firsthand the growth in popularity of the women’s game in recent years, and is excited to bring the action to the Steel City.

“As a girl dad, it was always important that my daughters had options, whatever their career choice may be,” he said. “I think the women’s game is just providing more opportunities for young girls who, basketball is their passion. It doesn’t have to lead to a WNBA career, but it can lead to opportunities overseas, can lead to a college scholarship that gives you that free education to have a better life down the line. The development and growth of the women’s game is benefitting any young girl who wants to put the work in. It’s providing opportunities for them on a bigger level than it did five, ten years ago.”

Tate included that this year, there will be teams from 17 different states competing in the national tournament, including several west-coast squads. SportsPITTSBURGH’s Brady Inners has seen the tournament’s impact on and off the court over the past several years, and this year, is anticipating a massive economic impact from the event.

“As of now, we’re anticipating close to 440 teams, which would be the most that this tournament has ever hosted,” Inners said. “With that, probably about 75 to 80 percent of them are from out of town, which we consider 100 miles or more from Pittsburgh. With those numbers, we’re looking at this probably contributing around five million dollars in direct economic impact to the region.”

“We’re very fortunate here in Pittsburgh to have the David L. Lawrence Convention Center,” Inners continued. “One, it’s a beautiful facility. The all-glass windows overlooking the rivers, it’s about as good of a view as it gets for a view for a convention center. When talking about a youth basketball tournament and you can walk into a building and have 40 courts laid out in front of you and watch all o that basketball, it adds to the feel of the event. It makes it feel big time, college coaches and scouts can easily navigate it and see a lot of players all at one time. Again, that adds to the caliber of the event. The bigger the venue, the more teams you have, the more people that come in for it, and it really just impacts the scale and caliber of the basketball that is being played. It’s grown every year from teams, number of courts, and direct spend. We will be in all five halls for the first time, halls A, B, C, D, and E, which is exciting.”

For more information on the WPA Bruins Tip Off, click here.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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